Feinstein to introduce assault weapons ban bill
December 16th, 2012
11:43 AM ET
9 years ago

Feinstein to introduce assault weapons ban bill

(CNN) - Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said Sunday the president will soon have legislation "to lead on" in the gun control debate, announcing she will introduce a bill next month in the Senate to place a ban on assault weapons.

"We'll be prepared to go, and I hope the nation will really help," Feinstein said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

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The senator said she'll introduce the bill when Congress reconvenes in January and the same legislation will also be proposed in the House of Representatives.

"We're crafting this one. It's being done with care. It'll be ready on the first day," she said, adding that she'll soon announce the House authors.

"It will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation, and the possession. Not retroactively, but prospectively. It will ban the same for big clips, drums or strips of more than 10 bullets," she said. "There will be a bill."

Gun rights legislation has gained renewed attention since Friday's deadly elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 students and six adults dead.

Many lawmakers and politicians have called for stricter gun control laws at the federal level, including a revisit to the 1994 former assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 but has yet to be reinstated.

Feinstein, who helped champion the 1994 legislation, said she and her staff have looked at the initial bill and tried to "perfect it."

"We believe we have (perfected it). We exempt over 900 specific weapons that will not fall under the bill, but the purpose of this bill is to get … 'weapons of war' off the street of our cities," she said.

The senator added she believes President Barack Obama will support the legislation. As a presidential candidate in 2008, Obama said he would support such a ban, but he has been criticized for failing to work toward tighter gun control laws since taking office.

After Friday's shooting, however, the president signaled a change in policy could soon be in place.

"We're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics," Obama said in his weekly address Saturday, echoing remarks he made Friday after the tragedy.

Feinstein on Sunday praised the assault weapons ban of 1994 for surviving its entire 10-year term and predicted a successful future for her upcoming bill.

"I believe this will be sustained as well," she added. "You know, all of the things that society regulates, but we can't touch guns? That's wrong."

Filed under: Congress • Dianne Feinstein • Gun rights
soundoff (828 Responses)
  1. Canuck

    "Once again the anti-gun people are using a tragedy to further advance their agenda"

    The agenda of stopping tragic, senseless slaughter – sure , why would anyone want such a thing????
    (sarcasm off)

    December 17, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  2. jethroe

    leave the gun alone and deal with the person shooting it . we need to know why these people do what they do and how to spot them before they snap . my personal opinion is that overly intense media coverage and the thought of instant fame is appealing to these people

    December 17, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. duane st.pete Florida

    funny how times change based on that is going on around people just for that point in time......back in the early forties the USA had to ask gun owners to donate guns so that they could be shipped to the people of England. You see there was a bad guy named Hitler who wanted to invade yet the English goverment had disarmed all of thier people. No way to fight back.....once the war ended they took all the guns back....not a couple of years ago in England when civil unrest happened the law abiding people could not defend themselves. Awful what happened in CT.....but this is a problem that the mother brought on although she did not see it coming (she should have). You do NOT try and bond with your troubled child by taking him shooting and teaching him how to shoot. Mentally challanged people should never be aloud free acces to weopons....and the mother did not keep those guns locked up....now that's crazy.

    December 17, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. Thomas

    UDidntBuildThat and Wprophet

    The problem is there are not enough American made assault weapons , most are made in other countrys , buy American , keep America free .

    Dems , just want to take away our god given right to kill , where are the jobs ?

    December 17, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    lulu wrote: (like so many others)

    ...Then those that are obeying the law will be left for free fire.. kinda like the shooting. If teachers were allowed guns, they could have protected the students.
    Hire armed security guards. Suggestions to the effect that the teachers should be armed is ignorant, comletely and totally ignorant. If you want people armed with weapons to repulse any attack then hire mercenaries. Better yet, build the school in a reinforced bunker.

    December 17, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. Double

    There are tens of millions of guns in the US and almost all of them are never used in a violent crime. As tragic as these events are people all too often react out of emotion and ignorance and claim we should "ban all guns" (as if getting rid of all guns was even possible to begin with). Those of you who are so eager to strip away a right protected by the Constitution had better be weary because if you ever get your way then you've opened the door for other rights to be taken away "in the interest of public safety". Most gun owners agree with reasonable regulations, but all of you calling for a complete ban are actually the problem of why we can't even have a conversation about it. You react solely on emotion, want to pin all the problems on guns, and totally ignore the other factors in our society that contribute to why a person would do this in the first place. I own guns and have known dozens of gun owners in my life and just like normal people we all have problems, get mad at others, and are subject to the hardships of life. Not one of them or myself ever used those guns they have to threaten others or try to harm them because we were raised to know what guns should be used for and what they are not to be used for. When we have a society that glorifies violence in movies and music we shouldn't wonder why people act violently.

    If you want to get nowhere in the gun control conversation then just keep up the name calling and keep naively thinking we could remove all the guns from the US when we have tons of drugs flowing in every day. Silly ideas like "gun insurance" aren't going to cut it either. That's no different than saying people should have "speech insurance" or "press insurance."

    December 17, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  7. Tim in Texas

    Inanimate objects, Guns are no more responsible for killing people than forks are responsible for the obesity problems in the US. Guns aren't the problem people are. The underlying issue is a societal problem that needs to be addressed.

    December 17, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. Kevin

    I wish we all could see the BIG picture. When those, that own the repeating rifles, and obey every law, give up their guns, crime with all forms of tools will go through the roof. Once again, the person who wishes to commit a crime of unspeakable horror, will not be concerned that he/she is breaking a gun control law. Why should the law-breakers be the only ones with a semi-auto firearm? I am not harming anyone with my semi-auto firearms. Why should I have to surrender them to the government? Well, if I don't surrender them, then I will be a "law-breaker". Right?

    December 17, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. Anonymous

    "Or do u put him down?"

    What happened in that school wasn't a freaking video game. He was armed to the teeth with fire power. He had a bullet proof vest on. Even had the principal had a weapon locked away, she would not have had time to get her weapon, aim straight for the "kill", and "take him down".

    December 17, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. rs

    No, it is the culture of death promoted by the NRA that allows mentally ill people to get their hands on guns, legally or illegally.

    December 17, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. cathrat

    Gun banning makes certain people feel like they've "done something", but sadly what they've done doesn't save any lives. In fact, by shifting the balance of power to the criminals they've actually guaranteed that more innocent lives will be lost.

    December 17, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  12. shadylady

    an assault weapon ban is fine & dandy.,,(because there is no reason for a civilian to own one)..but what the hell good is it going to do for the lowlife that gets them off the streets illegally,(like gangs,& the mafia,& the black market),that has them shipped to the united states...it's alot more complex than just banning them..sorry to say–these types of people will continue to get them-one way or another....it's a fact

    December 17, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. rs


    Corkscrews have a positive use guns don't. Tell the parents of 20 dead children that this is only Democrats at work.

    Ever consider Somalia? They like wanton violence there.

    December 17, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. Anonymous

    "Why is it always the guns that are to blame. Shoundn't the person using them be blamed? Using the rational of the Gun Control People then all automobiles should be banned because someone gets drunk and gets behind the wheel, yet nothing is said about banning muscle cars."
    No, guns are the problem! To go by your rationale, no one should be concerned about WMD's and we certainly shouldn't go to war because of them, because even though they exist, they won't hurt anyone unless the wrong people get their hands on them. Think about it – what is the difference? That one rifle used by one shooter was a WMD with 26 people killed. Yes, anything can be a weapon to kill if the peron is determined enough, but whatever can be done to minimize risks needs to be. There is NO reason for anyone regular citizen to own an assault rifle and certainly no reason to have high number rounds.

    December 17, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. Anonymous

    "It's not guns."

    Because the only intent behind the design of a gun is NOT to kill, right? Poor guns get a bad rap every time one of these massacres happen.

    "Only problem here is that no assault weapons were used in Newtown..."

    Only problem here is that you would be wrong. Check with the Coroner. He'll update your talking points for you.

    December 17, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  16. rs

    Don't be stupid. The guy in Florida killed one person with a construction tool. NOT 26 people with a gun in 15 minutes. There is a difference.

    December 17, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  17. Keeping it Honest

    @ KeepingMyGuns....a Bushmaster .223 assault rifle was used. Each victom has between 3 and 11 rounds in them. Now that one lie has been pointed out, why don't you turn around and tell us that he could have just as easily commited this massacre with a pen knife?

    Assault rifles have one purpose. To kill as many people as effectively as possible. There is no reason any civilian needs to have access to an assault rifle and 60 round magazine.

    December 17, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  18. Brigham


    We're done listening to you 2nd Amendment gun fanatic cowards. Bark at the moon all you want. Whistle by the graveyards where those children are buried. WE'RE. DONE. LISTENING.
    What are you going to do? You can't take away our guns. If this is the way you libs start a discussion its going to go nowhere. Keep up the obnoxious behaviour and abosolutely nothing productive will happen.

    December 17, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  19. Gun Owner

    Wow these people do not get it. Look on Wikipedia and the research pertaining to the 1994 assault weapons ban "That study by Christopher S. Koper, Daniel J. Woods, and Jeffrey A. Roth of the Jerry Lee Center of Criminology, University of Pennsylvania found no statistically significant evidence that either the assault weapons ban or the ban on magazines holding more than 10 bullets had reduced gun murders." Aslo "Research by John Lott in the 2000 second edition of More Guns, Less Crime provided the first research on state and the Federal Assault Weapon Bans.[10] The 2010 third edition provided the first empirical research on the 2004 sunset of the Federal Assault Weapon Ban.[11] Generally, the research found no impact of these bans on violent crime rates, though the third edition provided some evidence that Assault Weapon Bans slightly increased murder rates." The evidence speaks for itself.

    December 17, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  20. rsn

    Sent this email to Sen. Feinstein. She will not respond unless the writer lives in California: Assume this will bring some interesting comments.
    Dear Senator Feinstein: Yesterday I was very gratified when you said on Meet the Press that you plan to introduce a bill to ban certain types of weapons. Gratified, that is, until you said that 900 types of weapons will be exempt. How many children need to die before someone has the guts to come out in favor of real gun control? Introduce legislation to ban anyone from owning a gun. Introduce legislation to forbid concealed carry. Reverse the Supreme Court decision that wrongly inerpreted the 2nd Amendment to allow individuals to own guns. And the holy grail: Introduce legislation to repeal the 2nd Amendment. Again, how many children must die before someone says: 'You know what, my and your freedom to own a gun is not worth another innocent life ended at age 6 or 7 or 8 or at any age?" No one needs to own a gun, no matter if the gun is owned legally. Adam Lanza's mother legally owned the gun that her son used to kill her and 26 children and their teachers. How do you justify that? How many more children need to die?

    December 17, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  21. Anonymous

    We should ban swords and kitchen knives too, maybe even drugs, yeah make drugs illegal so no one will have them...omg wait?

    December 17, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  22. carlo Alinsod

    Why would you BAN Assult Rifles due to the incident from last week, I am sadden what had happen for those lovely children should not have suffered and terminated by a mentally disorder man. The problem was that the mother of the man knowing her son has mental disabilities and a potentail threat to himself & other should have "locked-up the firearms" and the 'Ammunition" far away from the locked Frirearms. That is where the problem started or beggan. Nevertheless we can sitdown all day and argue about Assult Fireamrs but it is a short and not the answer to the main problem !

    December 17, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  23. Imjesayin

    The only thing worst than the Connecticut tragedy is a senator exploiting it for political gain. Shame on you Senator Finestain.

    December 17, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  24. Anonymous

    "Why should the law-breakers be the only ones with a semi-auto firearm? I am not harming anyone with my semi-auto firearms"

    Adam Lanza got the weapons he used directly from his mother who also thought she wasn't harming anyone by having her semi-auto in her home. No doubt - if given a second chance - she might rethink her "rights". Please, for those of you who own weapons of any kind...secure them. NOW. This woman apparently trusted her own son to no avail.

    December 17, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  25. CA Independent

    Leave it to Feinstein to take advantage of a tragic situation to try and ban a weapon that wasn't even used at the school. Simply disgusting!

    December 17, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
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